By Joseph Mbughi
Minister of Mining Rashid Gaffar has promised Chitipa residents that his ministry will make sure that a Chinese-run granite mine at Ilomba benefits people in the district.
The minister was speaking at Ilomba when he visited the mining site in Chitipa district.
Gaffar said that the Granite being produced at Ilomba is the best and it is very expensive as such they want to encourage the ownership to be licenced so that the mining should be happening for government as well people in the community from the mineral, thereby, the owner offering some social obligation to the people.
“We are bordering with Tanzani where on site of Tanzania there is much development while on our site there is no development so we want the owner of the mining to sit down with us to know what they have on their program that can develop Malawi,” he said.
He also assured people in the community that the government will ensure that what the miner promised people is implemented.
The promises include building of schools, clinic, providing portable water and opening a factory for processing minerals which will create jobs to the community.
“If they start exporting the granite from the mining it will help our country to get taxes and loyalty that will help in the construction of good road, market so that accessibility to rich minerals become easy,” he said
Chitipa district council chairperson Mercy Mpoha said people in the district were not happy with the Chinese mining firm since the mine was not benefiting the locals.
She added that she would be excited if the owner of the mine develops the community as promised at the beginning.
The mining was suspended in April when concerned citizens in the district went to Court where they obtained an injunction demanding the Chinese firm to fulfill promises to the community.
The injunction has since been vacated and as of now there are 300,000 metric tons of blue granite expected to be drilled.
The owner of the miner was not available for comment.